I own a 1998 Ford Escort, 4cyl, automatic trans. There is an extremely
intermitted problem with the shifter button.
When the car is first started, in the morning; the shifter button will not
press in. Thus I can't shift into drive or reverse. Usually if I continue to
try to press in the shifter button; it will eventually press in after a few
seconds. But sometimes it does not press in at all. The shifter button works
fine thereafter once I get it to initially press in. The same symptoms occur
if the car is parked for a few hours after a being driven a lot.
The problem seems to be temperature dependent. It only happens when the car
is cold then started. Plus, the shifter feels a bit sluggish at first.
I took the car to 3 different mechanics. Two out of the three mechanics were
not able to reproduce the problem and thus were not able to give a definite
diagnosis of the problem.
Thus far I had the brake light switch, and shift actuator replaced; but
neither repairs solved the problem.
One of the mechanics speculated that it could be part called the "gear
select release solenoid"; but I did not get that repair done.
Can someone offer advice?